How to Organize a Chest of Drawers

If you are looking for the best way to organize a chest of drawers so that you can help keep your clothes from taking over, today is a great day! Clothes can get messy quickly and I love these tips on how to organize them, so they stay wrinkle-free.

Declutter and organize go hand in hand and work to keep your bedroom and your entire home neat and tidy.

Clothes. It’s something we need to have every single day but they are also something that can get completely out of hand if we are not careful.

I remember a friend telling me that when her mother was a little girl she had 3 dresses and 1 pair of shoes.

And that was it.

Crazy now to think that many folks have 10 times that amount.

There is nothing wrong with having a lot of clothes, if you need them. There are some people that work a professional job, are also very athletic, and enjoy lounging on the weekends as well.

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That means they will have at least 3 different wardrobes of clothing.

  • Profession/Work Clothes
  • Sports/Workout Clothes
  • Loungewear

Oh but wait, there’s more.

  • Personal Items
  • Pajamas
  • Seasonal Clothes
  • Formal Wear
  • Outside Work Clothes

Yes, all of these clothes are needed but wow! You could fill a store just using that list as a reference.

Why is this important? Because when it comes to streamlining an area in our homes for the things that we wear, decluttering and organizing need to partner together. This will allow you to create the best setup for you and your style of life and play and work.

What is the difference between a dresser and a chest of drawers?

A dresser is a rectangular, freestanding piece of furniture with drawers, typically used for storing clothes in a bedroom. Many come with a mirror on the top as well.

A chest of drawers is taller than a dresser with drawers that tend to be more shallow.

If you’re short on space in your bedroom, a chest of drawers is a great way to add extra storage without taking up too much room.

First things first.

One of the biggest issues with a messy bedroom is all the clothes lying out. More often than not what we have is way more than what we actually need.

Before you start to organize you may want to first go through your things and pare down what you have. This will make organizing the rest much easier to do.

Use this easy checklist to declutter your clothes.

  1. Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in the last year.
  2. Get rid of clothes with holes or stains.
  3. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit.
  4. Don’t keep more than one of each type of clothing item.
  5. Get rid of any clothes that you do not like the look of.
  6. Get rid of any clothes that are itchy, stretched out, or uncomfortable to wear.

DM PRO TIP: Copy the checklist above and take it to your closet and dresser. Go through each step one by one tossing what you can either in the trash or a donation box. Do these 6 clutter steps at the start of every month until you have simplified your wardrobe to a more realistic amount.

How to Organize a Chest of Drawers

Now that you have decluttered your clothes you can start to organize everything into one streamlined area in your bedroom.

Step #1. Designate

Decide what you want to keep in your chest of drawers. This can be clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. What you decide on will all depend on how much you have and how much space you have available

Here are a few options to consider.

  • All of your clothing.
  • Personal items such as undergarments and pajamas.
  • Seasonal items such as sweaters and bathing suits.
  • Accessories such as scarves and belts.
  • A mixture of everything.

If you have more than one person sharing a room, you can either split up the chest of drawers or purchase a second set giving each person their own to use.

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Step # 2. Group

I find it is much easier to organize items when you are able to group things together. These groups are more like themes and they will help you to set up your drawers in a way that works for you.

The reason you are organizing is to help you get dressed quickly and efficiently. When you have your clothes organized into groups, getting ready is a breeze.

A few ideas for groups are:

Type of clothes.

  • Tops – shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, dress shirts.
  • Bottoms – shorts, sweats, jeans, slacks, skirts.
  • All one piece – dresses, jumpers, coveralls.

By Style.

  • Casual – sweats, t-shirts, shorts, yoga pants.
  • Business – button downs, suits, dresses.
  • Dressy – tops, skirts, slacks, dresses.
  • Bedtime – loungewear, pajamas, intimates
  • Personal – socks, leggings, undershirts, camisoles.

By season.

  • Everyday clothes – things you can wear year-round.
  • Summer – shorts, capris, swimsuits, tank tops.
  • Winter – sweaters, hoodies, heavy socks, lines pants.
  • Fall – long sleeves, pants, leggings.
  • Spring – capris, short sleeve tops.

When it comes to grouping there is no right or wrong way. For example, I like to sort my clothes by season whereas my husband likes to sort his clothes by type.

Step #3. Put away.

Once you have an idea of what will go into each drawer you can begin putting things away. I like to use organizers to help keep the inside of each of my drawers sorted more easily. The neater my clothes stay in a drawer the nicer they will look when I wear them.

To fold or not to fold.

When it comes to how you keep your clothes in your drawers the folding style is all up to you.

Folding options for clothes:

  • Rolled – this type of folding does the best at keeping clothes wrinkle-free.
  • Folded – a quick way to store clothes.
  • Pocketed – A version of rolled and folded that helps you to see each item in a single layer.

Step #4. Organize.

You may want to add additional help to keep your chest of drawers from getting chaotic. Using organizers will help you section off the inside helping to keep your folded clothes in place.

You can use tension drawer dividers, and drawer bins, or simply stack items neatly on top of each other.

Try out a few organizers for the inside of your chest of drawers and see which ones are the easiest for you to keep up with.


Your chest of drawers is all grouped and organized, good for you! But wait, you are not done just yet. These next few steps will help to keep things in their place so you do not have to do this project again.

Step #5. Label

In order to keep things neat and tidy, you will want to remember what belongs where. This can be a little tricky especially if you completely rearranged your setup. To help you can put a label on the outside of each drawer reminding you what is kept inside.

I like to use sticky notes or index cards for this so I can see them clearly and know without a doubt what belongs where. These labels will help you to quickly grab what you’re looking for without having to search through everything.

Step #6. Systems

This is the step that will keep your chest of drawers organized from now on.

A system is a set of steps that you do each time you put clothes away making sure that you utilize the setup you made allowing you to keep your clothes and your bedroom neat and tidy without too much extra effort.

The key to a successful organization system is that it’s easy to use and maintain. If it’s too complicated, you’re not likely to stick with it.

System for Organized Drawers

  1. Always put dirty clothes in the hamper and not on the floor.
  2. Be sure to refold and return anything that you decide not to wear.
  3. Refer to labels when putting clean clothes away.
  4. Fold, roll, or pocket clothes in a way that will keep them wrinkle-free.
  5. At the start of each month do a quick declutter to keep drawers from getting over-stuffed.

Now that you have your clothes in your bedroom in their place you can celebrate! You know have a setup that you can stick with because you now also have a system that will help you to keep things put away and mess-free from now on.

When you take the time to organize a chest of drawers you are investing in your well-being. Clutter can cause stress and the last place you want to be stressed out is in your bedroom. And I, for one, believe you are worth that investment.

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